Doc’s Artisan Ice Creams
Little did Doc Brown know, but his 22-year career with the Phoenix Police Department very well may have paved the way for his life as the owner of Doc’s Artisan Ice Creams. As a police officer, Brown’s job relied on his inquisitiveness, tenaciousness and attention to detail. It’s those same qualities that have made him the sweet success he is today. At only three years old, Doc’s has garnered the attention and popularity few start-ups are able to enjoy. The company was named Best Ice Cream by the Phoenix New Times “Best of Phoenix” awards in 2014, has wowed attendees at the Devour Culinary Classic two years in a row, partnered with some of Arizona’s top resorts and restaurants, and even served the NFL’s players and owners during the 2015 Super Bowl festivities.
Not bad for an ex-cop whose motto when he started his business was, “just say yes and figure it out.”
“I retired on Feb. 28, 2013. On March 1, we were doing demolition in our new space. I couldn’t wait to get started,” he says.
Although his ice cream shop is still fairly new, Brown is no stranger to the kitchen. During his years with the Phoenix PD, he’d cook for his fellow officers and even had a small catering business. He considered opening a restaurant after retirement, but after conferring with a few chef friends, he ultimately decided on ice cream.
“Once I made the decision, I was all in,” he says.
And “all in” he was. Brown got a jump start on honing his ice cream making skills by taking classes around the country. He started in 2007—a whole six years before opening Doc’s—and went on to take several ice cream classes a year. One year, he even invited his then-84-year-old father to join him.
“We did a three-day course in Florida and he had a ball,” Brown says. “Today, he does everything we do here. From fruit processing to keeping the machinery clean, he takes care of it.”
While Doc’s serves artisan ice cream, the business is known for its gelatos, sorbets and frozen pops—all made with all-natural and organic ingredients.
“You won’t find refined sugars, GMOs, gluten, dyes, artificial ingredients, preservatives or eggs,” Brown says. “Pretty much anything someone would consider an allergen, we’ve removed from the product.”
And when it comes to developing flavors, Brown believes in an “out-of-the-box” way of thinking. Topping out at 95 flavors served throughout the year, the extensive list includes such innovative selections as ancho chile, mango habanero, salted caramel and coconut lemongrass lime, the most popular item on the menu.
“When I’m developing flavors, I’m looking at food first—what flavors work or what can work together, and then we go from there,” says Brown, who, recently, has been inspired by some unique fruits from different parts of the world.
“We do a Middle Eastern-inspired honey saffron gelato, as well as a flavor made with mamey sapote, a high-fiber fruit from the Caribbean,” he says. “I’m also working with soursop, a South American tropical fruit that has beneficial qualities.”
Brown admits that when he started his business, he didn’t know how things were going to go. But the one thing he made sure of was, like any good police officer will agree, to be prepared.
“Admittedly, there were a lot of things I didn’t—and still don’t—know. But what I do know is my craft.”
Doc’s Artisan Ice Creams
1221 W. Warner Road #105, Tempe
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